By Brodee Gillam
The LCC men's and women's cross country team both started off the season with a successful showing at the Olivet Invitational on Sept. 1.
The event was not scored for either team, but LCC Coach Jim Robinson said the harriers showed promise.
"If you look at last year's first meet and this year's first meet, we're substantially better than last year," Robinson said. "Last year none of our women, in the first meet, broke 19 minutes and here we had two."
Both teams also flashed their camaraderie and cohesiveness during the 5K run. Robinson said it will be a game plan they continue to use.
"This meet you had the luxury of getting out more at an even pace," Robinson said. "So I wanted us to work on running together as a team. That's a strategy that can really help you as you progress in the season and they did that really well."
For the LCC women, freshman Casey Mossholder finished first out of 36 runners with a time of 18:54. Freshman Melissa Ricci of LCC was second in 18:59. The Stars finished with 12 of the top 16 women's harriers at the invitational.
Returning regional champ sophomore Kaitlin Beyer finished third in 19:09. She said she has high hopes for the 2015 national champions.
"(The goal is) win regionals and come back national champions again," Beyer said. "We definitely have the potential, with a better team and more numbers."
For the men, sophomore Dylan Rocha finished fifth and was the first Star to cross the finish line, with a time of 16:11. The male harriers also took eight spots in the top 15.
Rocha said the designated groups in practice have been helping the team improve.
"We have been sticking with those groups really well," Rocha said. "You can tell it is benefiting a lot of people. … In the race, the groups help pull each other along."
The Stars' next action will be Friday, Sept. 16 in the Spartan Invitational at Michigan State University. Race time is 11:50 a.m. for the men; 12:30 p.m. for the women.